Prime Minister, Hon Gaston Browne, has expressed strong support for the regional credit union movement, noting that these institutions play a critical role in Caribbean development.
Speaking during a courtesy call by a delegation from the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), which has convened its board of directors meeting in Antigua from April 10-13 2019.
PM Browne told the delegation that his support for credit unions is unwavering particularly as they seek to foster financial support for their members across the region. He made the point that given the request by traditional banks for higher fees for their services, credit unions have seen an uptick in their membership as people are taking their savings to credit unions where it’s cheaper than commercial banks.
Moreover, the Prime Minister said credit union members know that they are members of a financial institution and not clients, who as owners have a say in the direction and development of the credit unions. PM Browne also expressed his admiration for the credit unions’ management system as well as their organizational philosophy. This he explained, “Makes credit unions unique as financial institutions.”
President of the CCCU, Winston Fletcher, in his response, thanked PM Browne for his support for credit unions as well as his understanding of the uniqueness of these institutions. He noted that credit unions are more than just financial institutions. He described them as social institutions that are very important for the region’s development as they are owned and managed by Caribbean people with all their profits staying in the region.
According to Fletcher, credit unions have a total asset base of US2.5 billion from membership of 2.5 million people. There are currently 297 Credit Unions from 16 countries throughout the region.
Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Credit Union League, Ms. Jacqueline Yearwood, also attended today’s brief meeting with the Prime Minister.